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If you want a good look at the White House and the reasoning behind the changes being made..

This is a great start...

"It was January 12, a few hours before Barack Obama would fly to Arizona for the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shootings, and a few hours after Obama’s speechwriters had handed him a draft of the address he would give there. The president knew well that a big moment was at hand, that what was called for was more than mere eloquence, but a speech that was deeply … his. “I want to work on this,” Obama said to Axelrod upon examining the text. “I’ll have a redraft for you by ten or eleven tonight.”

But those hours had passed without any sign of the president’s revisions."

"Now, as Axelrod combed his in-box in the predawn darkness, he saw an e-mail from Obama, time-stamped 1:20 a.m. Although the early portions of the draft remained largely intact, the president had thoroughly rewritten the crucial last two pages—from the call for a new era of civility in our discourse to the grounding of that challenge in the imperative of living up to the expectations of the fallen 9-year-old, Christina-Taylor Green. Axelrod recalled the last time his boss had taken such personal ownership of a piece of oratory: his speech on race in March 2008. Obama had labored over that one, too, late into the night, and after reading it in the morning, his message guru e-mailed him back, “This is why you should be president.” The Tucson speech inspired in Axelrod a similar reaction."

On the tax cut controversy...

"The lame-duck session let Obama put other elements of the advice he was hearing into practice. Extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans was not an outcome he relished, but he believed he had no choice—that digging in would lead nowhere good. “It would have demonstrated that nobody in Washington heard the message coming out of the elections about working together,” observes Gibbs. “Secondly, we would never have gotten START, ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ the 9/11 bill, and food safety. And thirdly, those initiatives plus the tax deal would have been, in essence, dead for the next two years. Look, in some ways it was good strategy, but we didn’t have a lot of options. We could have done, like, the Alamo, but that didn’t work out real well, either.”

Obama’s people insist they would have preferred to do the tax-cut deal without inciting the wailing of the left. But those Democrats pushing the Alamo strategy did the president a favor. They gave him the grounds to divorce himself from them, and hence to claim virtually all the political credit for one of the most productive lame-duck sessions in history."

On the Chief Of Staff Job....

"While it’s true that Daley worked for a bank, led the charge in the passage of NAFTA, and criticized the pursuit of health-care reform, the picture is not that simple. His appointment was endorsed by the likes of Howard Dean, Robert Reich, and Bob Shrum—hardly a pro-triangulation triumvirate. “I just think the world of him,” says Shrum, who worked with Daley on the Gore campaign. “He’s tough-minded and he’s fair-minded. Obviously, he’ll talk to the business community, but I think all this liberal brouhaha is foolish. He’s not gonna change, nor would he want to change, in this role, what Obama intends to do.”

Chris Lehane, another Gore veteran, agrees. “Whichever way this president wants to go, Bill is gonna make sure that it’s done in the most effective way possible,” Lehane says. “The thing about Bill is that he plays to win, and how he plays to win is by getting shit done in a really smart way.”

It is worth the time and gives some insight to the thinking behind the changes. I for one have been a huge critic of the Communications department inside the West Wing. Here is hoping that Daley and Plouffe can make the changes that are needed.

Originally posted to Davinci on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 04:02 AM PST.

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